Top 10 mistakes to avoid when booking your Wedding Band

Whether you are still in the process of finding a wedding band, or you are now finalising the details, there are a few mistakes to avoid and some good things to think about both before and on the big day.

Nothing says what a great party better than a dance floor packed with family and friends having fun and celebrating all night long so choosing the right entertainment is key.

Jon Fellowes of Last Minute Musicians gives top ten tips to help achieve stress-free entertainment on the happiest day of your life…


1. Be realistic

Before you even start looking for a wedding band, you need to set your sights on the kind of entertainment you can afford, and accommodate practically.

The reality is that professional wedding bands will not be cheap, but this is definitely not an area where you want to skimp. Brilliant live music can really take your party to the next level!

If you already have your venue sorted, then it’s worth considering the type of space you’ll be working with.

For example, you may love the idea of a 12-piece Motown tribute but if your venue is very small with severe noise restrictions, you may be better reconsidering.

2. Browse their set list

It may sound obvious, but its important not to just assume a band will perform your favourite songs, even if they specialise in a particular genre.

Always check your prospective band’s set list to avoid any confusion or disappointment on the day.

Top tip: Remember to get in any special requests as far in advance as possible to give the band time to rehearse.

3. Ask questions… and their advice!

Nothing is entirely set in stone when it comes to live music – many bands are more than happy to cater to special requests and extenuating circumstances.

If you are unclear about anything to do with your potential booking, the best policy is just to ask!

Don’t forget, your wedding band will hopefully have had lots of experience, so will be able to provide advice on a whole host of subjects from timings to your first dance!


Most wedding venues will require your band to have both a PAT certificate (which shows that their equipment has been adequately tested for electrical safety) and a PLI certificate (to show that they have the adequate Public Liability Insurance in the event of an accident).

The timescale for when you’ll ask your band about this will vary depending on whether you have your venue booked or not.

5. Read the contract and discuss payment terms

Once you have agreed a price with your band, they will likely require a deposit to be paid to secure the date.

At that point, they may also send you over a contract.

As with all legal agreements, it is important that you read this over carefully – especially regarding terms of payment.

Some bands will require payment by BACs in advance of the date; others will be fine with cash on the night.

Either way, it’s important to establish terms of payment in advance and not to leave it as a grey area.

Top tip: If you require an invoice, let the band know in advance.

6. Assign a point of contact

The day of your wedding is going to be a strange blend of both stress and enjoyment – what you really need to do is limit the former as much as possible!

As such, make sure you provide your band with a number and point of contact for the day, should any problems or emergencies arise.

This can be anyone from your wedding planner or venue event coordinator to a trusted bridesmaid or groomsman.

7. Leave them enough space

It may sound obvious but, when making decisions about how to arrange the room, make sure you leave adequate space for the size of band you’ve booked.

Bands are not just a couple of guys with instruments – they will often have lots of heavy and bulky PA equipment with lighting which will occupy more space than you might imagine.

Venues sometimes like to get movable dance floors down in advance, and this can sometimes be done with little regard for type of band that might be arriving, leaving 9 piece soul bands crammed under stairways and all manner of other awkward situations!

Liaise with your contact in the band about how much room they will need, but as a general rule… the more the better!

8. Think about your set timings!

The first thing to realise is, sure as the earth revolves around the sun, your wedding schedule will run later than planned.

It’s almost like an unwritten rule! The problem is that there is a temptation to make up time by trying to cut down on the bands set up/soundcheck time.

Most bands will try their best to be quick, but there needs to be a realistic expectation of how long it will take for them to safely set up their equipment

.As such, either build in contingency time or be prepared to be flexible with set timings later in the evening.

When it comes to soundcheck and set up, this is best done at a time when no one is around, so if possible, try and schedule your bands arrival for the end of your meal, when the staff are planning to “turn around” the room or simply encourage your guests to head to a different part of the venue while set up is going on.

Another big mistake some people make is scheduling their bands set and food at the same time it, and this is a terrible idea!

Your band will likely end up playing to an empty dance floor and full buffet queue, wasting their set entirely.

9. Give them a room to store things and warm up

This isn’t essential and your ability to do it will vary dependent on your venue size, but there is a definite advantage to having a space set aside for the band’s flight cases.

This can also function as a room for them warm up in, away from guests. While it isn’t massive issue, no one wants to have a bunch of boxes in the same view as the band if it can be avoided!

10. Trust them, and relax!

Possibly the most important thing to remember on your big day is that you shouldn’t have to micromanage.

If you’ve hired a professional and experienced wedding band, they will have usually have encountered (and learned how to solve!) virtually every problem conceivable by now, whether it’s getting people up and dancing or solving space and technical issues.

Trust in your band to do what they do, after all, they’re the experts!

More about Last Minute Musicians…

The Last Minute Musicians Directory has over 3300 fantastic and diverse acts for you to choose from.

Two professional musicians set up Last Minute Musicians in 2003. It has since grown into a team of 10 people handling over 50,000 enquiries and dealing with over 70,000 customers… in the last 12 months alone.

Visitors can see pictures, read bios, watch videos and listen to audio in order to ensure the act they select is perfect for their special day.

Couple this with the independent reviews system, and you can be sure that the entertainment you book will turn your wedding day into an evening everyone will be talking about for years to come!

We also have a huge selection of articles and blogs on how to pick the perfect wedding entertainment, and other advice for your big day.

Once you’ve found the perfect band, duo/ small group or solo singer, you can then negotiate with them directly and ensure everyone is happy with booking.

Last Minute Musicians is revolutionising the way people find their wedding entertainment, for the better.


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Featured image – Lauren Charlotte / Taylor Sax / Frankly Jazz / The Cello Player

1st Image – Last Minute Musicians

2nd Image – Monochromatix

3rd Image – Martin


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  1. Reply

    Couldn’t agree more with point 7! I filmed a wedding before and the 10 piece band had been left hardly any room, it stressed the venue out, but the band were pretty calm and managed to get set up with a few adjustments!

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